The Master of Two Worlds

Any man who has undertaken deep spiritual practice for a significant amount of time will be familiar with the following situation:

He has been immersed in his rituals that serve to clarify his consciousness, and has reached a point of perfect peace and supreme inner stillness.

The surface of his lake is unmoving and flat, reflecting the sky above immaculately. His mind is the fabled “mirror mind” that eastern traditions speak of.

This is the highest masculine bliss.

Nothing happening.

Wonderful.

But then his wife tries to reach him.

She finds nothing to hold on to.

“It’s like he’s not even here!” she cries.

So what is a man to do?

Leave his place of perfect bliss, and join his wife in the swirling world of movement and emotions?

Or stay where he is and let her suffer from his apparent distance?

The answer is both.

He should hold on to his sacred realisation, for that is his gift to his wife and the world.

It is the rope that hangs from Heaven, and will lead them to salvation.

And he should hold onto his wife as well, so she doesn’t slip and fall into the abyss.

Jason Bourne and Reclaiming the Shadow

When I watched the first Jason Bourne film I was struck by the way the amnesiac Jason was visibly uncomfortable with his fighting skills.

He repeatedly finds himself with a gun to his face, only to end up with the gun in his own hands after disarming the assailant.

Each time, he gets rid of the gun.

He wants to have nothing to do with it.

This helped me develop a respect for the character. He wasn’t your average action hero, who revelled in the mayhem and destruction he was causing.

Over the course of the original trilogy, he goes through a gradual recovery.

Bit by bit, he regains parts of his missing memories, and becomes more fully himself.

He does this, not by disowning his powers, but by reclaiming them.

Imagine he had taken a different route. Imagine he had decided not to reclaim his shadow.

This alternate Jason Bourne might have stopped using his fighting skills. He might have become a sort of pacifist.

But this would have made him weak.

Is this what we want from men? Weakness?

Or do we want strong men who use their strength in the right way?